In true catastrophic fashion ‘Awake’ immenses you into a film with a great premise in an apocalyptic setting. There’s been movies already where you aren’t allowed to see and speak, but none until now where nobody can sleep. This film is different, regarding the similarity of the concepts, because a global solar flare wipes out all technology and unexplainably causes an effect where it is impossible to sleep. In Mark Rasos’ 2021 Netflix ‘Awake’ we find out about how a world with limited technology and only two people who can sleep can possibly save the world.
Gina Rodriguez stars in the film playing Jill, a veteran suffering from PTSD, a drug addict and dealer. She has two children that live with their grandmother due to her difficult past. Her son is Noah (Lucius Hoyos) and daughter Matilda (Ariana Greenblatt) and both play significant roles in the families involvement into the heart of the issue. Jill is a security guard and due to her work and past service knows Dr. Murphy (Jennifer Jason Leigh) and they all do a fantastic job at portraying sleep deprivation along with the rest of the cast. Director Mark Raso and screenwriter Joseph Raso do a great job at attracting you to the chaos by having intense scenes immediately in the movie and keeping you invested (the film is only about 90 minutes) by having action throughout the entire movie up until the ending scene.
Within the first ten minutes of the film multiple concepts are brought up that appear multiple times during the entirety of the film. For starters the ability to not sleep, the main problem and concept of the movie, is portrayed in a smart way to truly show the effects of it. The effects of the deprivation occur quicker which means there is very little time to save people. The wipeout of technology is also an interesting addition because as people become crazier quicker, there are fewer resources to have the army (they have some technology) contain the people and have people survive. Jill’s past experience serving is also very captivating because she has a drug problem, and her experience serving helps save the family. Her story gives the film a great background to be attracted to but also very easily intertwines all the storylines together and why her and her family is so pivotal in this film.
Mark and Joseph Raso do a great job at having all of the intriguing concepts come together in a variety of different ways. After one night, it is clear that the daughter Matilda can sleep. Jill finds out through her relationship with Dr. Murphy (they want some help from Dr. Murphy) that there is one other woman they found who can sleep and they are doing tests on her to find out why. As people are quickly becoming delusional the action picks up and we get to see just how wild sleep deprivation effects can cause people to change. The sleep deprivation is shown as a whole church wants to sacrifice and/or keep Matilda hostage, there is a group of cannibals, and violence everywhere as all prisoners are set free. This makes it even more essential to figure out a cure and due to the lack of sleep and time they perform in-human tests on the woman who can sleep. The lack of technology makes it difficult for Jill to escape with her kids as they eventually steal a car that someone (confusingly) was able to get to work. Jill doesn’t trust the army due time she served and the fact that she hasn’t been there for her family and needs to keep Matilda safe from any harmful testing. Eventually they make it to the army base and maybe find a way to save the world. The ending is a little disappointing but at least we got one answer that was needed.
Verdict: 3 out of 5
The plot and action of this movie is very action packed. Each scene brings you right into the action, and makes you think about the concept but also does a great job in acting out the effects. The film is short so although it is action packed, there are definitely some parts that needed better explanations. The ending, although somewhat satisfying, makes you wish there was more to watch.
Awake is available on Netflix now.